A MAN accused of shooting dead nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel told police arresting him: "Youse are stitching me up."
Thomas Cashman is charged with murdering the youngster at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, in August last year.
Her mum, Cheryl Korbel, 46, was injured in the shooting as the gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into their house.
Cashman denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Nee and the wounding with intent of Cheryl.
The 34-year-old, of West Derby, Liverpool, also denies two counts of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
In the first week of his trial, Manchester Crown Court heard how Cashman insisted he was an "innocent man" upon his arrest.
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David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, described how as armed cops handcuffed him on September 4, he replied: "You stupid c***, youse are stitching me up for whatever it is.
"What's it for? What have I done? Go on."
When he was told he was being arrested on suspicion of murder, the hearing was told that he replied: "What are youse on about, murder?
"I haven't committed no offence. What youse are talking about, youse are mad."
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Once in custody, he continued to deny any involvement, adding: "That's a load of bull****.
"Everything that is said is a lot of s*** and I've done nothing. It's nothing to do with me."
During his second arrest on September 29, the court heard how he told officers: "Like I said before, you've got an innocent man."
A bullet struck little Olivia just after 10pm on August 22, 2022.
Jurors were told how the schoolgirl screamed, "Mum I'm scared" moments before being shot.
Olivia had been frightened out of bed and ran to her mother after hearing a commotion outside.
Cheryl opened the front door to find out what was going on when Nee, bleeding and injured, saw the light from her doorway and ran towards the house, trying to barge in to escape Cashman.
Cheryl, "in a panic" and yelling at Nee banging on the door, tried to shut it on him, as Cashman pursued his target and fired again with a revolver.
'STAY WITH ME BABY'
The bullet missed Nee, went through the front door, through Cheryl's right hand and hit Olivia in the centre of her chest.
The mum begged her stricken daughter, who "went all floppy", to "stay with me, baby" as Nee slumped on the hallway floor.
Cashman tried to shoulder-charge the door open and then his arm came around the door, holding a black handgun, before another shot rang out, the bullet splintering the door frame.
On Tuesday, the jury were shown an image of the door with blood splatters and bullet holes.
A neighbour told police she was in bed when she heard two bangs outside, then two "muffled bangs" followed by "the worst screaming I've ever heard in my life".
She then heard Olivia's sister Chloe on the phone saying: "Where are they, where are they? She is dying."
Armed police arrived at 10.11pm and Olivia was rushed to hospital where she sadly died about an hour later.
Nee had stumbled out of the house, collapsed in the middle of the road and used his mobile phone.
He was picked up by five men in a black car before police arrived.
Earlier, the court heard that Cashman had been stalking Nee that day, before pouncing in the street where Olivia lived.
Cashman allegedly fired three shots at Nee from a 9mm self-loading pistol, one shot hitting him in the midriff.
Nee stumbled but, as Cashman stood over him, his gun jammed and the victim ran to Olivia's house to escape, it was said.
Cashman followed, the jury heard, "relentless" in his pursuit, swapping his misfiring gun for a second weapon, the revolver, when he fired and hit Olivia.
After the shooting Cashman fled to the house of a woman he knew, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
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Concluding the prosecution opening on the first day of the trial, Mr McLachlan alleged the defendant had planned the "execution" of Nee but had instead shot a nine-year-old girl.
The trial, which is expected to last four weeks, continues.
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